Game On: Pelicans at Clippers


Once again, the Pelicans are limping into a matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers.

I was out all day yesterday and have not heard any news regarding whether Anthony Davis, Omer Asik, or Tyreke Evans will play.  Evans played only the first 3.5 minutes of the second half versus the Warriors and was visibly hampered by his ankle injury.

****UPDATE: AD is listed as probable and Asik/Evans are questionable for tonight.  Getting AD back significantly improves our chances for tonight’s game

The Pelicans are entering the home stretch of the season 2 games behind a similarly battered Oklahoma City and have a tough test vs. the Clippers, who have Blake Griffin back and will be fighting for seeding over these last game.

To be brutally honest, unless AD plays, there is a very small margin for error in today’s game.  The Clippers are simply better and are also playing at home.  However, the Pelicans have stolen 2 games against the Clippers these last 2 years playing very short-handed.  What is unlikely is not impossible, so here are some keys to tonight’s game.

  1. Limit Blake Griffin in transition.  When you are playing against a more talented team, you cannot afford to allow easy points.  Griffin runs the floor as well as any big in the league and will punish you if you don’t get numbers back early.  He’s excellent at getting wide and running with CP3 and also sprints/seals for early position against guards and smaller players.
  2. For the bench to outplay the Clippers’ bench.  One thing that the Clippers do not have is depth, particularly with Jamal Crawford out injured.  You can make up ground when Chris Paul is off the floor.  This is of utmost importance — because realistically speaking, their starting unit will probably be > +10 tonight.
  3. Let CP3 beat you with his midrange J.  Our perimeter defense is absolutely awful, and Chris Paul will carve it up 95 nights out of 100.  He is amazing from midrange, but you let him have it because leaving players open to help on Chris Paul is 99% going to wind up with a dunk or open 3.

I don’t mean to paint a bleak picture — the odds are simply stacked against us unless some of AD, Asik, and co. wind up taking the floor.  Beat up on their bench, get back in transition, and hope that Alexis Ajinca can do some work in the post or one of our shooters gets hot.  We have beaten them short-handed before, it is just not likely.

Let’s go Pels!


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